My Fundraising Page
Jan 14, 2010 by Catherine Patterson
Racing to Save Lives
To my dear friends and family,
On July 18th, I will compete in the NYC Triathlon- an Olympic length triathlon, through the city of New York (yes, including the Hudson). I am doing this as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkins lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. So, why is this so immensely important to me?
I am blessed to have one of the people I look up to most in the world also be my best friend-my dad. We have a connection that is very rare in life, one that I cannot explain but that permeates my every day. When he is tired, I am tired. When he is sick, I can feel it too. When he tells a joke, no matter how silly or ridiculous, I will always find it hilarious and burst into laughter. He is brilliant in every sense of the word, courageous beyond measure, and an eternal optimist. He has an infectious presence that touches all those who know him. And to know him is to love him.
His best friend is the most remarkable woman I have ever met-my mom. She is kind to a fault. Has a heart that is so big, I think it can even overwhelm her at times. She is the pistol who never wavers when it comes to her beliefs and loyalties and is perhaps the most selfless person I have ever met. Her complimentary intelligence to her best friend makes them infinitely interesting. Together they have an undeniable energy.
When they married, their vow, hope, and promise, was to let their unconditional and immense love for one another touch all those they knew. And to date, I can think of no one who could deny that they have achieved this in spades. They also introduced me to my greatest partner in crime-my sister. Someone for whom the phrase, quick as a whip, was meant. She is passionate about everything she does and is perhaps one of the funniest people I have ever met. And everytime I am around her, I do not want to leave.
In fact, everytime I am around all of them I feel like the world has conspired in my favor. My wish would be for everyone to know them. To call them my family is perhaps the greatest blessing the world could have bestowed upon me.
Five years ago this March, my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.
It felt like my world had ended. Devastation is an understatement. It would be a rollercoaster for the next five years. Through what seems like continuous rounds of chemo, two stem cell transplants, 15+ compression fractures of the back, biopsies, needle pricks, surgeries, elation and exhaustion, we have arrived here. A tighter unit than I ever could have imagined. Four people who could not love one another more and have learned to value every moment, the smallest of gestures, every success, tear, and smile. We are here. Laughing every chance we get, and taking one day at a time.
So, as I embark on this journey, my dad too embarks on a journey of his own. He will head to M.D. Anderson in Houston to undergo his first mini-allo transplant. As our lives tend to parallel one another, it is no coincidence that my triathlon training starts within the same week he leaves. And although it is one of my greatest heartaches that I cannot be there every moment, I hope that he knows, my family knows, and everyone who knows them and loves them knows, this is my way of saying, I am there. Every step of the way. And when I want to give up, when I am tired and think I have nothing left, I will remember who this is for. My father, my hero.
As he once said of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:
What you do is why I'm here.
This is a challenge I am undertaking to be with my dad, although not physically, constantly in spirit, to support those who have given us the time we have, and will have, and to give other families the chance to be HERE together for another day. Please join me in this effort by donating to this amazing foundation.
Much love and gratitude,
**A special thanks to my grandma and grandpa who each donated $100 toward my goal. Thank you!!**
If you'd like to know more about my dad and his journey, please visit his blog at:
Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission.